Renewable energy bill gains momentum

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The Public Lands Renewable Energy Development bill would help balance solar and wind energy with protecting fish and wildlife populations

 

The Public Lands Renewable Energy Development bill would help balance solar and wind energy with protecting fish and wildlife populations

This week the Senate reintroduced a bipartisan bill that would ensure smart development of renewable energy resources from the start.

 

While anglers may not immediately connect wind turbines and solar panels to the quality of their fishing, the passage of this bill could help sportsmen and women in three ways:

 

  1. It establishes a conservation fund that would direct royalty money to fish and wildlife projects to help offset the impact renewable energy projects have on public lands. These funds could go to things like habitat
    improvement projects or maintaining access for hunting and fishing.
  2. It provides money to states and communities where projects are located.

  3. It establishes an efficient framework for developing projects.

A wind farm in Wyoming

 

A wind farm in Wyoming

Trout Unlimited has been a supporter of this bill for nearly a decade, but we aren’t the only ones. Check out what others have to say about it:

 

“The Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act modernizes the leasing of federal public lands for development of solar and wind energy. This bill also directs revenues from these projects to impacted counties and critical wildlife habitat conservation projects. By streamlining renewable energy development, especially in a state with abundant wind and solar like New Mexico, we can create quality jobs and help make America more energy independent.” Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) cosponsor of the bill

 

“Energy independence is critical to our nation’s economic security and renewable energy plays an important role in achieving that goal,” McSally said. “Nearly 70 percent of land in Arizona is controlled by the federal government. This bill cuts through the bureaucratic red tape to deliver additional affordable and reliable energy for Arizonans, while allowing rural Arizona communities to share in the economic benefits that come from multiple use of public lands.” Martha McSally (R-AZ) cosponsor of the bill

 

“Our energy future is reliant on the development of renewable energy. That’s not a political statement, it’s simple economics. Solar and wind are now more cost effective than ever. But even renewable energy has an impact on public land and we must balance renewable development with the protection of fish and wildlife resources. This bill ensures smart development from the start, funding important conservation measures and giving back to the communities who shoulder these projects. TU has supported the concepts contained in this bill for nearly a decade and we’re grateful to the House and the Senate continuing to pursue its passage.” Chris Wood, president and CEO of Trout Unlimited

 

“Sportsmen and women are practical about the increasing demands of renewable energy development on our public lands, and we want to avoid impacts to wildlife habitat. PLREDA prioritizes development away from wildlife conflicts, proactively mitigates impacts from energy development and creates a royalty structure that will drive new revenue for impacted states and communities while also dedicating a separate conservation funding stream. We thank Sens. McSally (R-AZ) and Heinrich (D-NM) for introducing this bipartisan legislation that promotes responsible energy development and safeguards critical fish and wildlife habitat for future generations.”  John Gale, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers Conservation Director

 

“This bill would achieve a rare win-win scenario by thoughtfully balancing renewable energy development and habitat needs, while creating a consistent stream of revenue to fund essential fish and wildlife management projects. We’re heartened to see momentum behind this legislation, which will create opportunities to enhance sportsmen’s access, clean water resources, and critical habitat for important game species. This bipartisan bill and common-sense approach to conservation funding have TRCP’s full support.Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

 

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By Shauna Stephenson.